America's Biggest Problem Isn't Inflation
No nation in the world has been so blessed by God as the United States of America. Our country was founded by men and women seeking something of great importance that did not exist in their native countries: religious freedom. No longer willing to accept the religious persecution perpetrated by the European monarchies of the time, intrepid Christians left their homes and old lives behind, risking everything to establish a new nation on the North American continent. They built that nation on a solid foundation of Biblical principles and Christian values. As a result, God blessed the United States richly, making it the most powerful, prosperous, free, and charitable nation on earth. Unfortunately, over time things changed.
How would you answer this question: What is America’s biggest problem? Is it inflation, out-of-control gasoline prices, the economy, pandemics, poverty, unemployment, terrorism, competition from China, troubled race relations, nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, or the national debt? All of these problems represent important challenges, but not one of them is America’s biggest problem. The biggest problem America faces in the 21st Century is our systematic rejection of God in favor of a hedonistic, self-serving lifestyle in which individuals view themselves as gods.
Actions have consequences, and the consequences America is suffering for systematically rejecting God are tragic. Sin is dominating America’s culture. The culture has declined to the point that the kinds of depravity listed in Galatians 5:19-21 are becoming commonplace: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
WHY SO MANY AMERICANS REJECT GOD
It should come as no surprise to Christians that many of their fellow Americans reject God in favor of sin. The depravity of fallen man is described in detail in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” Whether the world is in the last days or not is for God to know, not individual Christians. But one thing is certain.
These verses from 2 Timothy are prescient. They provide a frighteningly accurate description of what is happening in America right now. The rejection of God by mankind is hardly new; it started in the Garden of Eden. The fallen nature of man in the form of human depravity coupled with the unrelenting temptations and evil machinations of Satan have always been with us. However, systematic efforts to remove God from all aspects of American life did not gain much traction in America until 1947 when the Supreme Court handed down its politically motivated “wall-of-separation” decision. Then in the 1960s, anti-God activists and organizations gained more ground when the Supreme Court barred sponsored prayer and Bible reading in public schools. Thus began a concerted effort on the part of many Americans to make sin acceptable and God unacceptable.
Encouraged by these landmark court cases in the 1940s and 1960s, the efforts of anti-God organizations to remove Christ from the culture have been persistent and unrelenting. The more progress the anti-God crowd makes, the more acceptable sin becomes. The more acceptable sin becomes, the more America’s culture declines and, in turn, the more America suffers as a nation.
THE TRUTH THOSE WHO REJECT GOD NEED TO HEAR
Ironically, many of the people who reject God in favor of sin are themselves concerned about the cultural darkness enveloping them, their communities, and our country. When talking with such people, it is tempting to be ungracious and comment: “What do you expect? This is what life looks like in a nation where sin is accepted but God isn’t. If you want to know who is responsible for the cultural decline that concerns you, look in a mirror.”
While this would be speaking the truth, it would not be speaking the truth in love. Further, this approach would probably cause those who reject God to either become defensive and avoid you altogether. When speaking with people who reject God and accept sin, remember the message in Proverbs 15:1-2: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
As a believer, your goal in speaking the truth to unbelievers about the tragic consequences of rejecting God is to begin a dialogue that eventually leads them to Christ. The truth they need to hear from you is that people are not meant to live without God. A nation without God is like a zoo with all the cages left open. People are not designed to set their own parameters and make their own rules. The fallen nature of man renders that approach untenable. Rather, people are designed to live within the boundaries and according to the principles set forth in God’s Word.
The cultural decline we see all around us is the result of people doing what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden: attempt to establish themselves as equal to God and set their own rules. There is a name for this approach: sin. It did not work for Adam and Eve, and it is not working for Americans who reject God. Actions have consequences and all Americans are suffering the tragic consequences brought on by those who reject God in favor of sin. The only way to reverse the cultural decline that infects all levels of society in this country is for Americans to stop viewing themselves as mini-gods, fall on their knees, and give their lives to the God of Holy Scripture.
As a Christian, you have an important role to play in reversing the downward spiral in America’s culture. If you think the job is too big and you are too small, consider this. More than 70 percent of American adults self-identify as Christians; that’s more than 210 million believers or, at least, people who claim to be believers. Even allowing for the fact that not all people who claim to be Christians actually are, that’s still a lot of people. Thus, you are not alone.
If Christians will come together with the common goal of reclaiming the culture for Christ, we can all be soldiers in a vast army of believers led by God. Further, you are not small. One person armed with the truth of God is bigger than all the anti-God activists who are trying to drive Him out of our lives. With Christ on your side, all things are possible (Matthew 19:16).
Dr. Goetsch is the author of Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press and Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith, Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, 2019: www.david-goetsch.com